Padres' Pham: Stabbing could have left me 'dead or paralyzed'
Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Tommy Pham is fortunate to be in the lineup for the San Diego Padres' first game of spring training Sunday after a stabbing in mid-October left the outfielder needing 200 stitches.

"The doctor here basically told me that if I wasn't so muscular, I might be dead or paralyzed," Pham said, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports. "So I'm lucky to even be able to play. I thought I wasn't going to be able to play again."

Pham, 32, needed surgery after he was stabbed in the back during an incident outside a San Diego strip club on Oct. 11. He sued Pacers Showgirls International for catastrophic injuries stemming from the altercation.

The seven-year veteran acknowledged he's about 80% recovered but still struggles with back-related workouts such as squats and deadlifts. He said the incident reminded him not to take his career as a professional baseball player - and all the perks that come with it - for granted.

"I still look at everything about the same," Pham said when asked if his perspective on life has changed. "If anything, I probably would just spend more money and stop saving as much. Because if I died, I would feel like I had too much money in the bank and didn't live enough."

Padres' Pham: Stabbing could have left me 'dead or paralyzed'
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